Brain lesions associated with a clinically isolated syndrome may be indicative of multiple sclerosis (MS). In order for such a diagnosis, multiple sites in the central nervous system must present lesions, typically over multiple episodes, and for which no other diagnosis is likely. A clinically definitive diagnosis of MS is made once an MRI detects lesions in the brain, consistent with those typical of MS. Other diagnostics include cerebrospinal fluid analysis and evoked response testing.
In 2001, the International Panel on the Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis issued the McDonald criteria, a revision of the previous diagnostic procedures to detect MS, known as the Poser criteria. "While maintaining the basic requirements of dissemination in time and space, the McDonald criteria provided specific guidelines for using findings on MRI and cerebrospinal fluid analysis to provide evidence of the second attack in those individuals who have had a single demyelinating episode and thereby confirm the diagnosis more quickly." Further revisions were issued in 2005.